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The Star Wars [Vol.II]: Avoiding Floyd

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And there he was, iconic leader of The Villain’s Club, all-time great Floyd Mayweather, dressed as The Riddler in shady grey. Nothing the former “Pretty Boy Floyd” did to become “Money” on the way to consideration as “The Best Ever”, was ever the result of happenstance.

As he often said with conviction: “Hard work! Dedication!” There is no such thing as a substitute for either in his universe, and as I watched him watch WBC/IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr narrowly escape “Showtime” Shawn Porter this past Saturday night from Staples Center in Los Angeles, “The Truth” is, he appeared to be rekindling a look of the old “I see something” variety.

We’ve heard about the talks of a rematch with a now WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao now for about two years, as boxing flirts with the skirt of fight fans in the hopes of lifting up more PPV glory between the two legends. But this is probably subterfuge to keep their names dipped in the kind of limelight that allows others to glow in the dark. In so many ways, Spence vs Porter was a testament to what made Floyd great. Aside from preternatural gifts and innate qualities that would have made him a generational talent, Mayweather obsessed over immaculate conditioning; believing any previous version of himself was never quite good enough, serving as the basis to cross a line others could not see or even dare to approach. But Porter, a fighter not blessed with his innate skills or preternatural gifts, does see this line and is only to willing to cross it, as evidenced by a classic war with Spence that could have easily gone his way. 

Going into the fight (and even after it), Spence downplayed the qualities of Porter, both commercially and technically. What he completely overlooked was the Cleveland Brown of the game’s special commitment to the mantra of “Hard work! Dedication!” Floyd saw it too. He knows what Porter is, a man who absorbed full training camps with Manny Pacquiao in a way that never left him; as Spence seems to be a man somewhat absorbed by his success in [a training with Floyd], while leaving a few things to the right of him. Just on the eye test alone, Floyd appears to be in mint condition, and the instincts of a legendary fighter had to tell him that his former sparring partner looked like a fighter of bad habits and very beatable as a result of success and the grueling fight he’d just witnessed. 

If a formidable test from former WBC welterweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia doesn’t loom next for “The Truth”, I wouldn’t count out Floyd discarding a rematch with Pacquiao and deciding once and for all that the best way to put distance between his legacy and Pac’s, is by challenging and beating Spence at the improbable age of 43. It would top anything B-Hop ever did, and force Jim Lampley to come up with something beyond “It happened!” after George Foreman eviscerated Michael Moorer. I mean folks, two fights in a row we’ve seen Spence go all 12 with fighters who’ve campaigned south of 147, while demonstrating difficulty in cutting down to welterweight.

Floyd’s clinch game to neutralize the inside game of Spence? Floyd’s pot shot variety and sharp penalties for any mistakes? Floyd’s four years of rest that actually offsets ring rust?

I’m just saying, after he saw a modern Sugar Ray Leonard Vs Roberto Duran I, with the Sugar Ray in this cases getting the W, it says here that Floyd “sees something”, something like a Superfight with Spence and giving him an L for the ages while confirming “TBE”. 

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I’m only suggesting the above because boxing is such a fickle sport and a fighter is only as good as their last fight. Sometimes this can work in a promoter’s favor at the box office for PPV gold. For example, if WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao could slip past Keith Thurman and his imperial democracy with authority, many casuals (and quite a few hardcore fans) are under the belief that Pac-Man could gobble up “The Truth” and WBC/IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr or former sparring partner “Showtime” Shawn Porter. I think that’s a lie. The fight with Adrien Broner was not as easy as some make it seem..

..and the Thurman fight most likely took a lot of out Pacquiao; an historically small welterweight now competing at an advanced age and enduring training camps with the fervor of his prime. Oh, and he’s engaging in all kinds of politics as a senator. Flip the remote control to CNN to see how that goes. Pacquaio should only face Floyd, which is actually a favorable match-up for him, for the same reasons why Pacquiao or Porter would be nightmarish for Floyd. It’s stylistic reasoning. 

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But now that the smoke has cleared and 2020 gets easier to see, it appears that we won’t see Spence Vs Porter II, as suggested in “Shawn Porter Showed Us “The Truth” About Errol Spence“. It’s not exactly a travesty, because that would give us a chance to kill two birds with one stone if a few rival promoters get this right. That means allowing Danny “Swift” Garcia to see if he can make good on his threat to Errol Spence (if my Floyd/Spence hypothesis falls apart) and Bob Arum and Al Haymon coming to terms to make an absolute firefight featuring WBO welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford Vs “Showtime” Shawn Porter.   To hell with this other side of the street ridiculousness, to make a much debated Bud Vs The Truth fight, they would need a common opponent the public has an emotional connection to. Who better than Porter?

Crawford is rumored to have a tough assignment coming up against Egidijus Kavaliauskas in December; but after being denied a fight with the fighter who dominated super lightweight, Danny Garcia, before he reinvented it in unification, only to face the likes of Jeff Horn, Jose Benavidez and Amir Khan for no deserved public acclaim, it’s time for boxing to do right by him and the fans.

For just as Shawn Porter showed us “The Truth” about Errol Spence Jr, he would more than reveal a few facts about Terence “Bud” Crawford. That is, unless Floyd, who Premier Boxing Champions featured prominently in the PPV show last Saturday, decided it’s somehow time for him to go, “I shook up the world!”                        

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About John Gatling

John Gatling

Senior correspondent for NY Fights and author of upcoming book, "The Fist Club." Conscious indie recording artist "T@z" and humanist advocate for the Green Party.

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